When Is The Best Time To Visit Ireland

best time to visit ireland

When is the best time to visit Ireland you ask? To be honest, there isn’t one! Each season offers a different experience of this popular tourist destination.

More than 10 million tourists visited Ireland in 2017 alone (that’s approximately twice the population), with the majority of people visiting in the peak season, which is June, July and August, in hopes of good weather.

But I’m sure you have heard that in Ireland, there is no guarantees of “good” weather, some years there can be up to 200 days of some sort of rainfall on the west coast. So if you are looking for hot, dry days on the beach… maybe a trip to Ireland isn’t for you.

But if you are looking for a holiday with a warm, friendly welcome from the locals, and a holiday full of unique culture, beautiful scenery, history and “craic”, then here are a few tips to help you figure out when is the best time of year for you’re to visit Ireland.

Spring in Ireland

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February/March/April

Spring is a lovely time to visit Ireland, the days start to get longer, the colours in the landscape become brighter as new vegetation starts to grow, and you can see new born lambs and calves grazing in the fields.

The weather is always a little hard do predict in Ireland, sometimes spring can be warm and dry, reaching up to the low to mid twenties. Alternatively there have been years where spring has brought snow, and lows of minus two.

On average the temperature is about 7°C (44.6°F) and you can expect roughly about 11 hours of daylight.

Some of the advantages of visiting Ireland in the spring are;

  • The peak season hasn’t started yet, so the main attractions will not be as busy as they would be in the summer months.
  • The children will still be in school, again alleviating some of the crowds.
  • The prices of flights and hotels will be less expensive than in the summer months.
  • The days “should be” warmer, dryer and longer than in the winter months.
  • Enjoy the “flora and fauna” as spring begins to change the landscape.
  • Celebrate an authentic St.Patrick’s Day with the Irish on the 17th of March, and an array of other festivals that take place during spring in Ireland!
  • https://www.thelifeofstuff.com/index.php/whats-on-this-spring-2017-in-ireland-festivals-you-should-know-about/ 

Some of the disadvantages of visiting Ireland in the spring are;

  • Some of the attractions may not yet be open as the season hasn’t started yet. (By late spring most of these should be back in action, if there is something that you really want to see, I suggest checking the open dates on their own website before booking your flights, to save disappointment)
  • The weather “may not be” as warm and dry as the summer months.
  • In early spring, as the season hasn’t started, some of the B&Bs and hotels may still be closed ( but you shouldn’t have a problem finding accommodation to cater for your needs).

So if crowds aren’t your thing, and you want the chance to see all that Ireland has to offer, without bumping into too many tour buses etc. Along the way, while keeping to a budget, springtime is probably the right time for your Irish adventure.

Summer

May/June/July

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Summer is when Ireland is at its busiest, tourists coming to visit and children enjoying their summer holidays, there is a great buzz around the place!

On average we have temperatures of 13°C (55°F), however it is not uncommon, like spring, to have some days that it can get up to the mid twenties. Unlike spring, the temperature in summer would rarely go below about eight degrees.

And on average you can expect, sixteen to seventeen hours of daylight during the summer months, with twilight some nights coming at 10pm.

Some of the advantages of visiting Ireland in the summer are;

  • It is the peak season, so there is a great buzz around the place.
  • Longer days allow for more time for adventures and sightseeing.
  • Better chance of dryer and warmer weather, but again.. No promises!
  • All attractions, hotels, hostels and B&Bs will be open and back to regular business hours.
  • Lots of local festivals to explore and enjoy.

Some of the disadvantages of visiting Ireland in the summer are;

  • Longer queues, and more traffic for attractions and sights.
  • Flights and accommodation will cost more.
  • Busier streets and businesses. Eg. shops, restaurants etc..  

So if you aren’t put off by the hustle and bustle of the peak season, and you don’t mind spending a few more quid to come at this time of the year, summer is a great time to visit Ireland! Loads of local festivals and you’ll get to enjoy the full extent of the wonderful landscape of the Emerald Isle, in all its glory.

Autumn

August/September/October

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Beautiful colours, toadstools and deer rutting. Ireland is known as a place of fairy tales, myth and legend, it’s not hard to imagine why when you see how it transforms in the autumn months. Things start to slow down after the busy summer season, the days start to get shorter and the temperatures start to drop.

Around this time of the year the average temperature is about 11°C (51°F), again, like all the seasons this could vary quite a bit from week to week, even day to day, and sometimes from hour to hour. The average hours of daylight are about 13 hours, with longer days at the beginning of the season, and the days getting shorter as winter begins to roll in.

The advantages of visiting Ireland at this time of the year, are very similar to those of Spring.

Some of the advantages of visiting Ireland in the autumn are;

  • The peak season is over, so the main attractions will not be as busy as they would be in the summer months.
  • The children will still be back in school, again alleviating some of the crowds.
  • The prices of flights and hotels will be less expensive than in the summer months.
  • The days “should be” warmer, dryer and longer than in the winter months.
  • Enjoy the “flora and fauna”, and watch as it changes and paints the landscape with spectacular colours.
  • Celebrate “Samhain” or “Oíche Shamhna” more commonly known as Halloween, in the country of its origin.
  • Also discover some wonderful local festivals. 

Some of the disadvantages of visiting Ireland in the autumn are;

  • Some of the attractions may not yet be open as the season is coming to a close. (In early autumn most of these should still be running, if there is something that you really want to see, I suggest checking the open dates on their own website before booking your flights, to save disappointment)
  • The weather “may not be” as warm and dry as the summer months, but it could turn out nicer! It’s a gamble when it comes to Irish weather!
  • In late autumn, as the season is finishing up, some of the B&Bs and hotels may be closing ( but you shouldn’t have a problem finding accommodation to cater for your needs).

Winter

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November/December/January

Winter in Ireland brings cooler days and longer nights. It is definitely a different way to experience Ireland, but equally as enjoyable. Because the daylight is less, it may mean your days will be a little shorter than they would in other season, but I wouldn’t let this deter you. That just means more chance to sit back, relax, head down to the pub and get chatting to the locals!

During the winter you can expect the temperatures to be quite cool, conditions would rarely be extreme, but do make sure to bring plenty of layers to keep yourself warm. The average temperature for this time of year is 6°C (42.8°F) , but also keep in mind with the windchill it can often feel colder.

The average hours of daylight are approximately 8 hours, so if you are planning on coming over at this time of the year, don’t waste the light! if it is sightseeing you are looking to do, be ready and on the road for eight or nine am. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time to relax in the evenings as it can start to get dark at five pm. So use the daylight wisely.

Some of the advantages of visiting Ireland in the winter are;

  • It is officially the “off season”, so you can have a chance to see Ireland with little to no tourists around.
  • The prices of flights and hotels will be at their cheapest (excluding Christmas), so if you are traveling on a tight budget this is the ideal time to come.
  • Because of the longer nights the pubs come alive with trad sessions by the fire!.
  • Enjoy a slower pace, with no queues, traffic etc. get a more authentic feel for the real Ireland. It’ll almost feel like you have some places to yourselves.
  • Enjoy winter local winter markets and festivals.

    Some of the disadvantages of visiting Ireland in the winter are;

    • Some of the attractions and tours may not be running as the season is over.
    • The weather will probably be a little cooler than the other seasons.
    • The days are shorter. (not sure this should be counted as a disadvantage, depends on how you look at it)
    • Some hotels, B&Bs, hostels, restaurants etc. will be closed because it is the off season.

Decision Time

Now that you have an idea of what each season has to offer in Ireland,If you want a better idea of the average temperatures and daylight hours from month to month here is a table of all the averages for you. This might help you decide which specific month you’d like to come for your trip.

Average Temperatures in Ireland

Spring

 

Summer

 

Autumn

 

Winter

 

February

5°C (41°F)

May

11°C (51°F)

August

14°C (57°F)

November

7°C (44.6°F)

March

6°C (42.8°F)

June

13°C (55°F)

September

13°C (55.4°F)

December

6°C (42.8°F)

April

8°C (46°F)

July

15°C (59°F)

October

10°C (50°F)

January

5°C (41°F)

  

Average Hours of Daylight in Ireland

Spring

 

Summer

 

Autumn

 

Winter

 

February

9 hrs 15 mins

May

15 hrs 15 mins

August

15 hrs 15 mins

November

9 hrs

March

11 hrs

June

16 hrs 50 mins

September

13 hrs 15 mins

December

7 hrs 30 mins

April

13 hrs

July

16 hrs 50 mins

October

11 hrs 15 mins

January

7 hrs 15 mins

 

So now hopefully you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about when is the best time for you to come visit Ireland. It’s all down to personal preference, what you want to from the holiday, and your budget. But I can say, without a doubt, whatever time you come, you will have an enjoyable experience. Happy travels!

~ Vicky

 

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